Preparing for College

College Spots Are Still Available

How did the college application process go for you this year? Did you get a nice pile of acceptances along with a few disappointments? That's the usual outcome for the overwhelming majority of high school seniors who applied to college this year and most other years. However, there is a possibility that things might not have turned out so well for you. For example, if you didn't allow for the increasing competitiveness of the higher-ranked schools, you may have applied to too many "reach" schools and got shut out. On the other hand, maybe you had good acceptance success but your financial aid packages were either deficient or loaded with too many loans (or both).

Well, there's still hope for those of you who are sweating it out: The National Association for College Admission Counseling's (NACAC's) Space Availability Survey Results 2012. Here's what it can do for you:

Openings for Qualified Students

Search by state/country for NACAC-member colleges and universities that are still accepting applications for Fall 2012 freshman and/or transfer admission. Then click on the "Contact Info" link if you would like more information from the college/university about how to apply. Many colleges are added to the list after the initial May 2 deadline, so be sure the check back.

Also, there is a very helpful Fact Sheet that interestingly notes . . .

Survey in Brief: NACAC's annual Space Availability Survey: Openings for Qualified Students polls NACAC's member colleges and universities each year to determine whether institutions can still accommodate applications for prospective students for fall enrollment after the May 1 National Response Deadline. For fall 2012, 375 colleges and universities have either freshman or transfer space available as of the initial May 2nd deadline for the survey. The colleges still accepting applications represent 48 states plus DC, as well as 8 countries. A total of 18 international colleges are represented.

Number of Colleges With…

- Freshman space available: 362

- Transfer space available: 374

- Institutional financial aid available: 373

- Housing available: 354

There are also some highly informative Frequently Asked Questions, which provide valuable information. For example:

Is space on four-year college campuses in the United States increasingly scarce?

- It is difficult to definitively answer this question based on the results of this survey. The survey is voluntary, and the population of potential respondents is limited to roughly 1,200 U.S. NACAC member four-year colleges (leaving about 1,000 U.S. four-year colleges unaccounted). In addition, the survey remains open after the initial May 3rd deadline, and additional colleges and universities typically join the list after the initial deadline.

How do students apply for admission at institutions listed on the survey?

- Students must contact institutions directly for application information. Listing on the survey implies only space available. Admission is contingent upon each institution's review of application information.

What percent of colleges listed on the survey are public/private colleges?

- 70 percent of colleges reporting space availability for Fall 2012 are private, and 30 percent are public.

How long will the survey be available to students?

- The survey will remain on NACAC's Web site ( through June 29, 2012. Throughout the next two months, institutions listed on the survey are asked to update their availability information. Students are advised to contact the colleges directly for the most up-to-date information.


So there you have it: A great resource to salvage what may have turned out to be a stressful college process for you this year. Be of good cheer. There's a solution to your problem, if you have one. NACAC to the rescue.


Be sure to check out all my college-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.